An Oasis of Space

New parking lot at Horizon Honors is completed


Marti Weary

A sign welcomes Horizon Honors staff and families.

Horizon Community Learning Center has a traffic problem; students and their families brave the clog every morning, slowly inching their way down the street. Cars come from every direction, fighting their way before the school gates or into overstuffed parking lots, while huddles of pedestrians stream across the crosswalks. Horizon Honors High School students often have the unique frustration of trying to find a place to park for the day, before elementary and kindergarten parents snatch up the close spots in order to walk their children into school. Recently, the school has opened up a new parking lot for use, on Frye Road at the south of the school; this is supposed to provide a relief for the intense school-morning traffic.

Executive director Betsy Fera says that, “Since the school was built, traffic and parking has been a challenge. The school has worked over the years to improve the traffic flow, however there was always a safety concern with cars parking on Frye Road.” The school was previously unable to build anything on the empty lot to the south of the school, and only this last fall was the Arizona Department of Transportation able to lease the land. Originally the project was going to be completed in February-March, with most of the construction being over spring break. However, Fera says that there were “unavoidable delays,” leading to construction continuing during school. According to Fera, the parking lot has been successful in making Frye Road safer and less congested. She has received many positive comments, and herself has noticed less traffic; she feels that it is now much safer for pedestrians to cross Frye Road.

Students have had mixed reactions to the new parking lot. Junior Chris Westerson is largely indifferent to the new lot. He says that he comes down 48th Street from Chandler, and it makes sense for him to keep parking in the north parking lot, near the church. He doesn’t feel that the new lot has reduced traffic at the intersection of 48th and Frye, but it seems to be easier to turn into the church parking lot; Westerson guesses that the new parking lot has been providing a better place for some parents to drop off their kids. However, he doesn’t understand the placement of the parking lot, and thinks that it is awkwardly situated. Senior Shelby Lemme has stronger feelings about the parking lot. “It should have been built over the summer,” says Lemme. The construction impeded traffic flow during the busy school mornings, and caused a lot of headaches. Now that the construction is finished, Lemme continues to be unimpressed with the parking lot. She says that the only available spots in the morning are all the way in the back, which is an issue for the senior, who needs to quickly leave campus in order to get to her after school job. Lemme says that all of the close, convenient spots are taken in the morning by parents who want to walk their kids into school; they don’t think about the students who are left walking to the back of the lot in the afternoon.

If you wish to leave your vehicle in the south parking lot during the day, you need to register it  with the front office and pay a fee of $50 for a parking sticker. Remember to drive safely when going to and from campus!